In 1862, Isaac Lain purchased property on the north side of St. Paul Avenue just west of the intersection with Wisconsin Avenue on a high bluff overlooking the city and the Fox River. Two springs were located on this property.
In 1879, Mr. Lain affixed iron pipes to the outlet of one of his springs to bring water down to the road in order to supply water to the street sprinklers who kept the dust down on the dirt roads.
This spring was known by other names such as Hilltop Mineral Spring and High View Spring, but in 1884 it was referred to as Acme Spring. In 1885, the spring was leased to George Carleton and George Winans, who later purchased it. They established a business called Acme Mineral Spring Company with an office in Chicago to sell water from Acme. In order to do this, pipes were laid between the spring and the railroad tracks next to St. Paul Avenue. A faucet was attached allowing barrels or cans of spring water to be filled and put on the train at 4:00 pm. By 7:00 am the water was in Chicago ready for sale and distribution.
A description of the spring appeared in the company brochure. "The basin has been enlarged and securely walled in, the top entirely covered with large flags of stone, while the only approach is closed by iron doors, securely locked. This prevents any possibility of contamination, either
from natural causes or from malice, something that every open spring may be subject to." This is the original structure.